Are migraines with aura a significant risk factor for ischemic stroke?

Updated: May 27, 2020
  • Author: Edward C Jauch, MD, MS, FAHA, FACEP; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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In a prospective study of 27,860 women aged 45 years or older who were participating in the Women's Health Study, Kurth et al found that migraine with aura was a strong risk factor for any type of stroke. The adjusted incidence of this risk factor per 1000 women per year was similar to those of other known risk factors, including systolic blood pressure 180 mm Hg or higher, body mass index 35 kg/m2 or greater, history of diabetes, family history of myocardial infarction, and smoking. [21]

For migraine with aura, the total incidence of stroke in the study was 4.3 per 1000 women per year, the incidence of ischemic stroke was 3.4 per 1000 per year, and the incidence of hemorrhagic stroke was 0.8 per 1000 per year.

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